In the pursuit of creating a more inclusive and accessible world, technology has played a fundamental role in breaking down barriers for individuals with low vision. One standout initiative making significant strides in this space is Be My Eyes, a mobile application that connects people with blindness and low vision with sighted volunteers through live video calls.
Be My Eyes facilitates real-time assistance from a global network of over 7 million sighted volunteers, providing support to approximately 600.000 blind and low vision users around the world in over 185 languages - completely free of charge. This immediate access empowers blind and low vision users to tackle daily challenges confidently, fostering independence and reducing dependency on others for routine activities. The app transcends geographical boundaries, creating a sense of unity and shared purpose.
For individuals with blindness and low vision, Be My Eyes serves as a lifeline, fostering independence and autonomy. Tasks that were once challenging, such as grocery shopping, identifying colors, or reading instructions, become more manageable with the support of the app. Immediate access to a community of volunteers empowers users to tackle daily challenges confidently, reducing dependency on others for routine activities.
Users report increased confidence, a sense of security, and renewed participation in activities hindered by low vision. Be My Eyes breaks down barriers, enhancing overall well-being and contributing to a more inclusive world.
Future developments may include enhanced features, expanded language support, and collaborations to further address users' unique needs.
As a new feature, the company has introduced Be My AI – a virtual assistant powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model. In the Be My AI tab, users can take a picture and receive a detailed description of the image. You can then chat with the AI and ask further questions to get all the information you need.
This new feature will not replace the volunteers but will be an add-on to the app. Users can still reach a volunteer if Be My AI can’t answer their questions, if they want to check its results, or they just need a little more assistance than Be My AI can provide.
Be My Eyes exemplifies the positive impact technology can have on blind and low vision individuals' lives. By fostering independence and inclusivity, the app showcases the potential for collaborative solutions to address accessibility challenges and improve overall quality of life.
“Being able to see yourself in the mirror every morning is not something we can take for granted. But with your eyes and Be My Eyes, we can look into the mirror together and maybe make this world a little bit better.”
Be My Eyes was founded in 2015 by Hans Jørgen Wiberg, who envisioned a platform where people with blindness and low vision could receive real-time assistance from a network of volunteers worldwide.
The app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, has since garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative approach to leveraging technology for social good. The community is has created, is considered the largest blind and low vision community in the world.